First Word, April 10th: God is Here

By April 10, 2020First Word

During these stressful and unusual times, many are struggling to find a new normal at
home. At a time when I had been anticipating graduation and being sent out into the world, two
things that are keeping my faith alive are song and prayer. Recently, I was introduced to the
gospel worship song ‘Way Maker’, and since that time, the lyrics have swirled in my head:

You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Working in this place
I worship you
I worship you

God is here! The Holy Spirit is active and surrounds us, moving in our midst even though
we are often unaware. I recently saw the Holy Spirit in action while walking my dogs by the lake
near my home. I was surprised to find brightly painted rocks labeled with words of
encouragement, such as courage, peace, faith, and harmony, spread at intervals along the
pavement. For me, a familiar path was transformed into a prayer trail. Simple rocks, crafted and
placed by children, helped me see the many ways the Holy Spirit is working on our midst, and
served as a reminder to lean into God’s love and protection. The grace of God is working in this
place even when it seems like the world is being turn upside down.

Returning to our Christian roots of mediation and reflection also brings me comfort. The
Awareness Examine, a daily meditative framework, can take many forms, but is rooted in two
primary aspects used to examine one’s day, Consolation and Desolation. People recognize
Consolation at any time of day when they witness or experience God’s love, light, grace, joy,
energy, etc. Naming these events helps us pay attention to the God who is always at work in the
world: creating, redeeming, sustaining. Desolation occurs at times in the day when people
witness or experience moments of heartache, pain, despair, grief. Naming these times helps us
pay attention to the reality of the human experience and the existence of anguish in the world. It
is also a way to focus on God’s presence in and through suffering. God meets us there, too,
especially so!

As we consider how we might uplift those around us in uncertain times, simply checking
in with our families, friends, and those who might feel isolated, afraid, or lonely, can make a
significant difference in their lives. Our willingness to accompany others as they share their
Consolation and Desolation is based on hope. As we listen to the experiences of others, we often
find God in situations that may seem impossible.

May this song and prayer will help you find your way. Remember, God is Here!

___________

Sophie Warnberg is a senior Theology and Public Leadership with a Concentration in Youth Studies major and a minor in theater at Augsburg University, in Minneapolis, MN. She served on FLBC Summer Staff during the summers of 2018 & 2019, and she is overjoyed to return to the valley this summer! Sophie loves singing, laughter and walks with her dogs. Her favorite things about camp are nine square, mighty mighty scoop noodle challenge and campfire.

2 Comments

  • Margie Fiedler says:

    THANKS Sophie! This is beautiful!! Eager to see you.. God be with you and your family at Easter and always…

  • Doug Scott says:

    Thank You Sophie! Today is Friday – we commemorate this day as the day our Lord was hung on the Cross and Died for Us. In our world today, we may feel fear, anxiety, loss of touch, sadness, depression. Perhaps much like the disciples and friends of Jesus felt on that day. Thank you for your words of calmness, and reminder that our God still is at work. Our God is not finished with any of us.

    Yes it is (Good) Friday… but remember…Sunday’s Coming!

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